Date: July 19th, 2007
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Cooler Master
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Before getting started with the install, I recommend making sure the case this system will be installed in is able to accommodate the radiator assembly. Screw holes are located on the back of the radiator and these simply line up with the 120mm fan holes on the case. I will be installing the S1 in the rear of a Sunbeam Transformer case which was kind of a tight fit, but it will work.
There are no alternate back plates to install on the motherboard, although the stock one must be removed. The first step is to insert four long screws through the underside of the motherboard (in place of the backplate) and tighten them down with nuts.
After the CPU is in place with a thin layer of thermal paste applied, the waterblock is placed on top of it. The block is held in place by then slipping the mounting bracket over the long screws and again using nuts to tighten it down. Only one mounting bracket is included and it is used for both AMD and Intel boards. The manual gives some basic diagrams for each step but they are small and leave a bit to be desired. Even still, I didn't have any issues with the install as it was all very straightforward.
Now that the S1 is installed and ready to go, it's time to test it out. Here's the system I will be using:
- Biostar TForce 550 Motherboard
- AMD X2 3600+ Brisbane CPU overclocked to 2.8 GHz
- 2GB GSkill PC2-6400 RAM
- XFX Geforce 8600 GT Video card
- 2 x 80GB WD800JD Hard drives
- Antec Smartpower 500W PSU
The conditions I used during testing are:
-Ambient room temperature was kept at a constant 22C.
-Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste used.
-Idle temps were recorded after the PC had been sitting for one hour under zero load.
-Load temps were recorded after two hours of torture testing with Orthos Prime.
For comparison, I have also included results from the stock cooler and the Thermaltake Symphony Mini liquid cooling system. The S1 has an adjustable fan and temps were first recorded at the lowest speed (800 RPM) and then at the highest speed (2500 RPM). All temperature readings are in degrees celsius.
I was skeptical of the tiny water pump being able to do an effective job, but looking at the resulting temps it in fact manages to perform quite well when the fan is turned all the way up. At 2500 RPM the temps are slightly higher than the Symphony Mini, but that is a more robust and expensive system. At the lowest speed the fan is nearly silent, but at the highest speed it's on the loud side although it does move quite a bit of air. Case temps were not affected much despite the large amount of space the radiator takes up, but keep in mind temps will vary depending on the case and airflow inside it.